HomeTop StoriesThe key lifetime of flamingos: the conservation photographer capturing mesmerizing photographs of...

The key lifetime of flamingos: the conservation photographer capturing mesmerizing photographs of Mexico’s iconic chicken Gadgetfee

Written by Rebecca Cairns, CNN

Since he was 4 years previous, photographer Claudio Contreras Koob has been obsessive about flamingos: their vibrant pink feathers, horn-like curved beaks, and stylish, poised necks.

Born and raised in Mexico Metropolis, Koob visited the Yucatán Peninsula yearly throughout faculty holidays. His father constructed a home on sand dunes within the port village of Chuburná, between the ocean and wetlands, and collectively they watched flamingo colonies collect within the lagoons and muddy swamps that stretched for miles behind the home.

“It was a really stunning sight once we have been in a position to spot a pink-orange mass of birds within the distance,” says Koob. “That stayed in my reminiscence.”

The Caribbean flamingo is “emblematic” of the Yucatán Peninsula, the place his father is from, says Koob, showing on seaside towels, pool inflatables, backyard furnishings, and even on packaging for pink salt. However regardless of its recognition, in Yucatán and past, little is thought about its actions and biology, he says.
The Caribbean flamingo lives in salty wetland and coastal waters around Mexico, the US and the Caribbean.

The Caribbean flamingo lives in salty wetland and coastal waters round Mexico, the US and the Caribbean. Credit score: Claudio Contreras Koob / Nature Image Library

Now, many years after his first sightings of this “iconic chicken,” Koob is sharing his ardour in a brand new pictures e book, “Flamingo,” revealed final month.

Koob hopes his intimate portraits of the chicken will assist others to “fall in love with flamingos” and encourage them to care concerning the wetlands the place they stay.

From lab to lens

Koob’s childhood fascination with nature led him to check wildlife biology on the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico, the place he took a course in microphotography and found “what the language of pictures might do,” he says.

Combining his passions, Koob targeted on conservation pictures when he left college. He joined the Worldwide League of Conservation Photographers which in 2009, requested him to seize the tagging of flamingo chicks in Yucatán.

With the assist of Mexico’s Flamingo Conservation Program, run by Fundación Pedro y Elena Hernández since 2015, Koob spent a number of years accumulating the pictures that make up his e book. He says the most important problem was getting near breeding birds.

“If you happen to disturb one, they begin screaming and flying away, and you’ll trigger a panic. They might depart all of the eggs, and abandon the colony,” says Koob.

Koob spent years gaining the trust of the flamingos so that he could photograph their nesting colonies and young chicks.

Koob spent years gaining the belief of the flamingos in order that he might {photograph} their nesting colonies and younger chicks. Credit score: Claudio Contreras Koob / Nature Image Library

Koob says his “sluggish strategy” to pictures enabled him to collect intimate photographs of the flamingos. He typically wore camouflage, military crawling throughout muddy floor to get near the birds with out scaring them.

On some events, he took a ship into the lagoons earlier than daybreak so the birds could be accustomed to his presence by dawn, and stayed till after dusk. “That’s powerful, with the solar and 40 levels (warmth),” says Koob. “It’s totally consuming for the physique.”

Fairly in pink

In contrast to people, flamingos are properly tailored for his or her excessive setting.

Gathering in teams generally known as a flamboyance, flamingos usually stay in brackish water, however some inhabit alkaline “soda lakes” crammed with water so excessive in sodium carbonate it will irritate or burn the pores and skin of most animals.
Flamingos use their hooked beaks to feed on shrimp, mollusks and algae that are rich in carotenoids, the pigment that gives them their pink coloring.

Flamingos use their hooked beaks to feed on shrimp, mollusks and algae which are wealthy in carotenoids, the pigment that offers them their pink coloring. Credit score: Claudio Contreras Koob / Nature Image Library

Right here, the flamingos encounter few predators or different birds that will compete for meals. Flamingos have to devour 10% of their body weight day by day, says Koob — so having lengthy, undisturbed feeding instances is necessary.

Their eating regimen contains algae, shrimps and mollusks containing giant quantities of carotenoids — the identical pigments that give fruit and veggies like carrots, pumpkins, and tomatoes their coloring — and that are answerable for the flamingo’s signature hot-pink look, says Koob.

Wetlands underneath menace

Flamingo conservation has been a excessive precedence for Mexico for the reason that Seventies and ’80s, when it established two federal wetland reserves on the Yucatán peninsula, later designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

Ría Lagartos to the east is the place the flamingos nest and breed, whereas on Yucatán’s western border, Ría Celestún is a vital feeding website. Further reserves established by the native Yucatán authorities imply that the majority the peninsula’s wetlands are protected, says Koob.
Flamingo numbers have been rising for the reason that institution of the parks, say Koob. Based mostly on the variety of nests on the breeding colony in Ría Lagartos, the Nationwide Fee of Pure Protected Areas (CONANP) estimates there have been round 30,000 grownup birds in 2021.
However these reserves do not supply full safety, he says. Agrochemicals utilized in highland areas circulate by underwater river techniques and pollute the wetlands, and whereas the reserves are speculated to be shielded from city improvement, Koob says there are nonetheless cases of unlawful constructing and trash disposal.
Up to 50,000 tourists come to see the flamingos every year at Ría Celestún (pictured) -- although Koob warns that this could disrupt their eating habits.

As much as 50,000 vacationers come to see the flamingos yearly at Ría Celestún (pictured) — though Koob warns that this might disrupt their consuming habits. Credit score: Claudio Contreras Koob / Nature Image Library

Local weather change and rising sea ranges threaten flamingo habitat, and tourism additionally has an impression. Whereas the nesting colony is closed to vacationers, as much as 50,000 guests come to see the flamingos in Celestún yearly which may disrupt their consuming habits. Authorities have launched laws to restrict the numbers of vacationers, says Koob, including that it is too early to know if the caps can be enough.

Now, Koob is again in Yucatán, staying in his childhood vacation dwelling in Chuburná, photographing the wetlands. This time, horseshoe crabs are his focus, and he hopes he can proceed to attract extra consideration to the wildlife and communities residing there.

“For most individuals, the wetland is sort of a pungent, darkish, creepy place. But it surely’s stuffed with wonders — and the flamingo is only one of them,” says Koob.

Hey there my self kaushal, i am 24 years old and i am BAMS Graduate, I hope you like my work thanks for reading.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular